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Hawaiian voyagers sail in to CDU

By Katie Weiss

From left: Hokule’a crew members Hye Jung Kim and Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau with CDU’s Dr Aue Te Ava and fellow crew members Keala Kai and Tamiko Fernelius From left: Hokule’a crew members Hye Jung Kim and Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau with CDU’s Dr Aue Te Ava and fellow crew members Keala Kai and Tamiko Fernelius

A group of voyagers sailing the world in a traditional Polynesian canoe from Hawaii has toured Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus and its Indigenous education facilities.

The Hawaiian Polynesian Voyaging Society was invited to the campus by CDU education lecturer Dr Aue Te Ava.

Dr Te Ava made contact with the group after finding their “Hokule’a” vessel, a full-scale replica of “wa’akaulua”, a Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, docked in Darwin.

“Their journey is a good way to educate the public about indigenous culture and to honour our ancestors around the world,” Dr Te Ava said.

“It is a communal concept about sustainability and cultural empowerment, and their strength reminds me of how powerful our Polynesian culture is.”

While touring the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Education, voyager Hye Jung Kim said she was interested in finding out more about CDU programs that prepared student teachers for working in remote Indigenous Australian communities.

After a short stay in Darwin, the crew set sail to Bali with plans to then travel to Mauritius, Madagascar and South Africa.

The canoe is being navigated around the globe using traditional methods, which use winds, waves, birds and the stars. It is sailed by a rotation of crews from around the world in a bid to raise awareness about Polynesian culture.